Do your sales efforts need a social selling makeover? Many of my newer clients swear by their social selling results. Many of my old line manufacturing organizations are still struggling to get their sales teams to begin using a social selling process. I think the problem is more terminology based than how selling is changing.
After talking to several clients and partner organizations, I thought I would share several key ideas that should exist in most B2B business development processes. One of the largest differences I see is that customers are buying differently today.
Technology and greater access to critical information is disrupting your relationships with many of your key clients or customers. I’d like to share several ideas that can help you get better, more profitable clients while decreasing the time it takes you get more business.
The first major change in the sales process is that your buyer has more information than ever before on your company’s products and services. In the past, sales professionals were able to control the flow of information to their customers and prospects during the sales process. Today, when working with clients, I find many top gun sales professionals trying to adapt to this paradigm. To be successful selling in the new economy your sales and marketing people must work more closely with clients throughout the process.
Growing organizations need to share information more quickly on a more regular basis to help empower their sales teams. Great sales professionals in the past worked on instinct and relationships built over many years. Today the next generation of sales professional knows more about their customers than we ever thought possible. We are able to micro-niche our messages to make sure we know what is going on throughout the business development cycle.
The second major change in the sales process is we can sell based on individual events within our client’s organization. These trigger events can help effective sales professionals jump to the front of the client’s awareness by creating interest at the time where it’s most possible to enter the client’s world.
I’m going to share more later this week on trigger events, but I’ve been sharing the idea with many of my better clients with a high degree of success. Social selling is a perfect complement to trigger event driven marketing. What would it be worth to you to know what happens in your clients that causes your next sales process to begin?
Social selling is effective because it works on decreasing the sales process by creating client driven urgency. By moving critical information to your key sales people, you are now gaining incredible leverage with your best customers. I’ve helped several organizations use such simple tools as LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Insideview to gather critical information through their business development cycles.
The third major change in the sales process is about building a more powerful personal and professional network. When I sit with clients to do business development plans for their key accounts, they always come away amazed at how many contacts we have within our potential customers. Social selling with a human touch can help you build a billion dollar network over a very short time.
The secret many older business development professionals know is it’s the power of the secondary network that helps you achieve your sales goals. When I train senior leaders how to use their network better, the one piece of advice they take away is that it is much easier to get a call back from the client once you know what’s really happening inside the organization. Investing time in people within your client’s organization who can coach you is a good investment of time.
We will talk more about this strategy, but if the early results my clients are getting are any indicator of the results that are possible, you’re going to want to learn this secret and then share it with your team.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say all successful long term selling is based on trust. Learning how to build trust in a networked world is the difference between building a good business and growing into a great business. Many of my most active supporters come from the time I invest through a combination of social selling and using my trusty phone when something seems amiss within a leader’s life.
Now that we’ve talked about the similarities between social selling and traditional B2B sales, let’s see if I can share why trigger selling is going to change the dynamics in your industries, starting yesterday and moving into the future.
See you next week.
This article originally appeared on Market Leadership Journal